Overwhelming popularity cannot diminish the spectacular class of England’s finest ridge walking horseshoe, a circuit of the chiselled crests cupping the Red Tarn cove. Though hands-on challenge is very limited the name Striding Edge seems apt as you lope along its airy spine; ridges might come harder but they don't get better. To beat the crowds avoid weekends and bank holidays at all costs; misanthropes might prefer a lonely dawn start. For best results mountaineers should save this round for winter; it's too easy to be considered a genuine scramble in summertime.
From a minor top the crest continues as a gently serrated curving knife edge. Though it only demands very basic scrambling Striding Edge has a superbly airy feel (if you're really averse to heights a get-out path slinks along the N flank). Cross a level rock ‘pavement’, then continue over little bumps to reach a short downclimb just before Striding Edge meets the main mountainside. Negotiate this via a short broken groove on the left – polish shows the way. Beyond a little gap is a final rocky barrier, which can be skirted on the right or taken direct. A steep slope now leads to the summit plateau. From the memorial cairn at the top of this slope follow the plateau rim to the summit windbreak.
The outlying pyramid of Catstye Cam can be bagged from here in about 10 minutes (optional). Back at the col, a well trodden path drops quickly into the cove.
- Cranstackie and Beinn Spionnaidh Jul/2014
- Hallin Fell Jun/2014
- Blencathra via Sharp Edge and Bannerdale Crags East Ridge May/2014
- Broad Law and White Coomb May/2014
- Stob Ban and Mullach nan Coirean Apr/2014
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